Churchill Spring Ball: drunk in dystopia

Cheers Winston, top night

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The other day I went to Churchill Spring Ball.

(Yeah, yeah, this review is ages late, my bad Churchill, I’ll try and recall what I can from the sorry mists of time).

It’s one of the more ‘ghetto’ balls out there, with sticky drinks (amaretto and coke anyone? Seriously, whose idea was that?), a lethal slippery dance floor that serves chicken nuggets (sorry, ‘goujons’) round the edge, and a quite bumout shisha room. That room was amateur hour. But artful dodger played (sick) and spirits were high.

Shisha is just never chic

The event was my first experience of a Cambridge ball, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m not sure I approached it in the right way. First of all, I was about three hours late, and that is apparently not the done thing. By the time I got there everyone had already had the time of their lives and eaten all the things.

I managed to snaffle a crust of bread and a sliver of cheese when no one was looking. I didn’t want to be the loner eating a hog roast on her own. So I can’t really comment on the food.

Dem tequila sunrises

There was gin in plastic cups, though, without ice, and tequila sunrises. There was also Cava, loads of it. I overheard one gem of a conversation: ‘shall we go and get some Champagne?’ ‘It’s not Champagne, it’s Cava, I wish you would stop calling it Champagne. God.’ Preach.

While everyone else was drunk on Krispy Kremes and falafel, I was just drunk. Blackout drunk. There was a cinema with an actual back row, it was like being fourteen again, tongues and all.

Then there was a silent disco, but I have a horror of silent discos, so I stayed until they played S Club and then scarpered. There were some other things, but for the life of me I can’t remember them.


I love Churchill. It’s my favourite college. It looks it should be in Clockwork Orange, and the brutalist architecture brilliantly suited the dystopian theme of the ball. The whole place looked insane.

It was actually kind of a shame that the effect was ruined by swarms of boys in rubbish black tie. Churchill should ditch the black tie – it doesn’t sit with the modern ethos of the College, and it shattered the whole illusion that we were in some Orwellian dystopia. Orwell himself said of men’s evening wear, ‘let us banish this uniform.’


While we’re on the subject, something I don’t understand is why so many of Churchill’s guests wore clip on bow ties. Seriously, those things are the WORST. They look so awful, and you can see them a mile off, all neat and shiny and Marvin’s magic. Why bother getting into a tux and then ruin the whole thing with a clip-on? Just learn to tie a bow tie.

But bow-ties aside (they really fucked up my evening, as it happened), the girls looked pretty great, lots of them were wearing trainers, which was cool.

 It was all in all a brilliant night, for reasons I can’t quite recall, spent at the most down-to-earth, good-looking, fun-loving College in Cambridge. #Churchilltillidie (Disclaimer: I’m not actually at Churchill)